Comparing Destruction in Steinbeck's Flight and London's To Build a Fire

Comparing Destruction in Steinbeck's Flight and London's To Build a Fire

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Journey to Destruction in Steinbeck's Flight and London's To Build a Fire


Not many people have to face death in the cold wasteland of the Arctic or rugged mountains of California, but Pepe and "the man" do. Although the ironic destruction of Pepe and the man were caused by relentless forces of nature, their attitudes and reasons for going on their journeys differed.

The setting in both stories consisted of extreme climate and conditions. In Flight the climate was desert hot during the day and chilling cold at night. "The Torres family had their farm, a few sloping acres above a cliff that dropped to the brown reefs and to the hissing white waters of the ocean. Behind the farm the stone mountains stood up against the sky." Pepe spent his last days in the mountains where the conditions were harsh. "His throat was almost closed with thirst. He crawled into the heavy brush feeling with his fingers for water. "There was no water in the bed of the stream, only damp earth." In contrast, the climate in "To Build a Fire" was frigidly cold. "Day had broken cold and gray, ...

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